Upgrading Apartments Without Upsetting the Bank

With an estimated 300,000 new apartment units being built every year, older apartment complexes can be a turn off to renters, especially if they are outdated. New apartment complexes are being built with all the bells and whistles to attract millennials who tend to have high expectations of living arrangements. So, while these Class A apartments are thriving and getting premium rent, Class B and Class C can potentially fall behind in maximizing rent. However, there are a few simple, non-expensive upgrades that can really boost these older apartments into competition.


A fresh coat of paint can really change the look of an apartment. You can do an accent

Two Toned Paint
Two Toned Paint

wall and allow the tenant to pick the color. This makes them feel more like the place is their own. Or, you can look into doing a two tone paint color keeping the ceiling a flat white and selecting a warm, neutral color to paint the walls. You don’t want to stick with all white walls for it gives the place a cold, sterile feeling that could deter prospective renters. Also, look into repainting the hallways. You can even look into doing an accent wall to keep hallways from looking or feeling dark.


Renters tend to focus on the kitchen and bathroom so you want to make sure those stay up-to-date. One way is if the cabinets are still in good condition, instead of spending thousands of dollars replacing the boxes and doors, just look into having the faces redone and stained. Then, stain the boxes to match. Also, you can add hardware to give the Schrock-Before-and-After1kitchen a really polished look. Another inexpensive upgrade is to spray the counter tops with spray granite – looks like granite, is durable, but much cheaper. Usually for just a few hundred dollars you can redo the countertops and give the kitchen a whole new look. If the kitchen still has old, white appliance, for just a few hundred bucks, you can upgrade them to black appliances and easily get an additional $25 a month in rent, essentially paying them off within a year.

Get Rid of the Gold

Gold anything is a true representation of how old and out-of-date an apartment is. Switch out fixtures, towel racks, toilet paper holders, door handles, signage, and anything else that has gold in it. Change to silver or a brushed nickel that has more of a timeless look. Spending less than $100 to change all of it will drastically improve the overall look of the apartment and appeal to renters that will in return pay a little more for the unit.


The outside needs to reflect how the inside looks. Make sure that the grass is kept cut, power wash the outside of the buildings and windows, and look into planting seasonal flowers to give the landscape a little punch of color and fresher look. Also, if you have a pool, look into incorporating bright colors with either umbrellas or fun chairs to put out.


You don’t need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to upgrade a perfectly good apartment, but just making a few changes to keep up with the times will go a long way for you and your renters!

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